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  • Writer's pictureLisa Safran

The 5th Dentist

In the 1970s, Trident gum came out with “four out of five dentists surveyed recommend sugarless gum for their patients who chew gum.” The "four out of five" has become a go-to phrase for a majority vote. No one ever says much, though, about the fifth dentist. I'm pretty sure he was my dad.

My father, a dentist, was never one to follow the herd. If I asked him a simple question, his answer was usually "yes and no" and "what do you think?" In our house, questions ruled, and answers were splicers for more questions. So, if Trident had asked him back then what he thought of their innovative new sugarless gum, Dad would have probably replied, "What does sugarless really mean?"

Be the fifth dentist sometimes to allow for a view outside the pack. Don't get stuck to other people's thoughts too early in a process. Chew on discourse for awhile. It just might be your trident for catching the best creativity.

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